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«We used L Ron Hubbard's techniques for getting people off drug dependency and turning them into Scientologists if we could. We were told by Dick Talbert, a Guardian Office staff member, to tell people that Narconon and Scientology were different corporations and not affiliated.» — Affidavit of Jerry Whitfield, 27 February 1998
Also, consider this passage taken from License Agreement: Narconon International/Centers—Marks, a contract between any Narconon center and Narconon International:
This website offers a critical examination of Narconon's claims, contrasting them with the strong body of opposing evidence. Our intention is to provide a full range of information to individuals, civic leaders and media representatives interested in Narconon's activities or considering involvement with Narconon.
16. Is Narconon religious?
Yes. Narconon claims to be secular, but all of its therapeutic methods are part of the "scriptures" of the religion of Scientology. Many of its practices are based solely on belief rather than medical science - a particularly obvious example is the use of "assists", a Scientology form of faith healing through the laying on of hands. Past versions of Narconon training manuals have been taken directly from Scientology originals, with very minor changes of wording or vocabulary to remove the most obvious signs of Scientology. Narconon's claim of secularism relies on outsiders not having enough knowledge of Scientology doctrine to recognise that much of its own doctrine is, in fact, pure Scientology.
(See "Narconon and Scientology - Doctrines".)
Narconon invariably makes claims of very high success rates - anything up to 85%, a remarkable figure when one considers that conventional drug rehabilitation programmes achieve only a rate of around 20-30%. It is, however, extraordinarily difficult to obtain the source data for such figures. They appear never to have been published by Narconon and the organisation does not respond to requests for the data - Gisle Hannemyr, a Norwegian investigator of Narconon, tried unsuccessfully for four years and the author of these pages has had a similarly frustrating experience. Even Narconon occasionally appears to find it difficult to back up its own claims - when it sought to repudiate a critic in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1993 it was unable to provide any evidence to support its claims of efficacy, leading the administrative court to conclude that "The papers filed by the petitioner offer no evidence of a successful drug withdrawal at the petitioner." [Decision of the Verwaltungsgerichtshof Stuttgart, 10 May 1993, Az: 1 S 3021/92]
Narconon lies about its ties to the Church of Scientology, while funneling money to the International Association of Scientologists and other Scientology groups, and receiving money from them as well. Within Scientology, Narconon is known as "the bridge to The Bridge": a recruiting tool to lure in new members.
Many human rights activists throughout the world consider Narconon to be a "scam." Many health experts throughout the world consider Narconon to be both dangerous and ineffective. One cannot (and must not) expect the Scientology enterprise to tell the truth about their Narconon front group: it is my hope that these web pages will help people learn the facts for themselves.
Addiction experts and academics in Canada, the United States and Europe have long warned the Narconon program has no scientific basis for its claims.
For obvious reasons, the lauding of religious leaders isn’t supposed to be practiced in U.S. public schools, at least not as a class activity. Yet one widely used school program concludes by having students applaud Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The program is called Narconon, and it has notable Scientology links. [...]
[...] But Scientology's biggest social reform gimmick to date has been the "Narconons," fronts that allegedly rehabilitate drug addicts. Guardian legal experts at Saint Hill designed a whole package of "correspondence" and phony minutes of "directors" meetings to make the Narconons appear independent and justify government cash payments for "consultation" fees. [...]
The doses of vitamins are so high on the Purification Rundown that they become potentially dangerous (several vitamins are poisonous in high doses; and vitamin B1 can have a disorienting effect similar to that of certain drugs). The Oklahoma Mental Health Board was especially concerned about the use of vitamin B3 in the form of niacin, which in large doses has been connected with liver failure. "Large doses of niacin are administered to patients during the Narconon program to rid the body of radiation. There is no credible scientific evidence that niacin in any way gets radiation out of the patient's body. Rather, the more credible medical evidence supports the existence of potential medical risks to persons receiving high doses of niacin".
Narconon is a drug-rehabilitation program run by the Church of Scientology. Its methods are, to say the least, unconventional, and have been roundly criticized by doctors and other scientists as potentially lethal.
When one facility was being examined for certification, Narconon's spokesperson, Kirstie Alley, advised board members not to worry about details and to certify Narconon "because the treatment works". Several studies and reports, however, show that Narconon can be dangerous to a patient's physical and mental well-being, and that Narconon is used to recruit new members into the Church of Scientology.
He said the church uses its community organizations to infiltrate the community. "I'm talking about infiltration in your community by a group of psycho-political operators who have been well trained." [...] Janie Peterson, who worked in the Las Vegas Guardian Office until 1979, testified earlier the office operated community programs such as Gerus Society, Apple Schools and Narconon with a stated purpose "to make Scientology indispensable to the community. It was basically public relations."
Barbara Graham's resources
Devotees of the Church of Scientology have gained access to thousands of British children through a charity that visits schools to lecture on the dangers of drugs. A Sunday Times investigation has found that Marlborough College is one of more than 500 schools across Britain where the charity has taught.
Critics of the charity, Narconon, say it is a front to promote the teaching of Scientology — the controversial “religion” founded by L Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer.Schools contacted last week said they knew nothing about the charity’s links with Scientology. There is no apparent reference to the church in its drugs education literature. [...]
The Wog Blog (Mar. 17, 2007): "Who's Up for a Debate?"
Dave Touretzky (Mar. 16, 2007): "A look inside Narconon Stone Hawk's finances"
Dave Touretzky (Mar. 16, 2007): " Narconon Stone Hawk sued for fraud"
Dave Touretzky (Mar. 14, 2007): "More trouble for Narconon Stone Hawk"
The Wog Blog (Mar. 3, 2007): "Vince Daniels Not Shuddered Into Silence"
The Wog Blog (Feb. 25, 2007): "Stonehawk Responds"
Lt Col Mark Jones was Narconon's first Director, serving in that position through the 1970s until the organisation was restructured around 1983. In 1995 he submitted an extraordinary sworn declaration, supported by documentation, that (at least until the early 1980s) Narconon was wholly controlled by the Church of Scientology. He states:
In or about 1971 I was approached by Arthur Maren who was the Assistant Guardian for Public Relations in the United States branch of the Guardian's Office of the Church of Scientology. Maren asked if I was willing to set up a Narconon office and establish programs under the direction of the Guardian Office ...
Throughout my period as director of Narconon, I reported to the Guardian's Office. Meetings were held at regular intervals at which the executives of the Guardian's Office determined the affairs of Narconon. All Narconon activities including the disposition of Narconon finances were approved by the Church of Scientology Assistant Guardian for Public Relations and the Assistant Guardian for Finance, Henning Heldt. From the time I became involved until I ultimately resigned, the Guardian Office controlled all directorships of Narconon, although Narconon was held out to be independent of the Church of Scientology.
Although it was publicly admitted that Narconon used
the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, and was sponsored by
the Church of Scientology, it's true relationship -
i.e. that it was wholly controlled by the Church of
Scientology, was never publicly admitted.
I can emphatically and truthfully state that they only people that completed the Narconon program and "stayed off drugs" were those that became Scientologists. It was always one of those never written about but completely understood by Narconon staff, that unless the person became a Scientologist and did the Scientology Drug Rundown, then there was really little chance that they guy would permanently stay off drugs. The unwritten final step of the Narconon program was to acknowledge you were a Scientologist. At that point, you were considered to be rehabilitated, but up until you acknowledged that you wanted to be a Scientologist and study Scientology it was considered that you probably revert.
The Rick A. Ross Institute: Narconon [in the news]
The Narconon® organization has been exposed to be a ® "Church" of Scientology front which is in no way connected with the real drug addiction treatment program called Narcotics Anonymous.
The Scientology business does not inform people that its Narconon operation is Scientology because they're aware of the likelyhood that no one would sign up for their dubious treatments were they aware of the fact that Narconon is a front group created by a notorious business cult with a long, well known criminal history, using unscientific, dangerous, and ineffective drug treatment proceedures concocted by a pulp science fiction writer.